There are numerous causes of lameness and poor performance in horses, some of which can be diagnosed relatively easily and some of which cannot; in more complicated cases, detailed clinical evaluations and the use of advanced diagnostic techniques may be required.
We first need to localise the source (or sources) of lameness. Whilst our examinations will give us clues many lamenesses cannot be diagnosed simply by looking and feeling.
We use nerve and joint blocks to do this. A block is a small quantity of local anaesthetic placed strategically in the horses leg to sequentially numb regions of the limb - if only they could talk!
Once we have identified the area to focus on we can then take images, normally using either ultrasonography or radiography.
Finally, we collate all the information we've gathered to give you a diagnosis, recommend treatment options and inform you of the likely prognosis.